3-Phase-Decanter Leap In Evolution Of The 3-Phase-Decanter

| Editor: Manja Wühr

Modified 3-phase-decanter blows up hydraulic borders—The designers of Pieralisi have modified the 3-phase-decanter far reaching. Tests in the biodiesel-production agreed a growth in output of 270%.

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3-phase-decanter Jumbo 3 CP-A
3-phase-decanter Jumbo 3 CP-A
(Picture: Pieralisi)

Whether in the food production, the separation of reaction mixtures in the chemical industry or the further processing of the glycerin and accordingly potassium sulfate which occurs in the biodiesel production — the 3-phase-separation is of importance in a plurality of processes. Finally the quality of the phase separation not at least decides over the efficiency and quality of the whole process. The 3-phase-decanter CP-A from Pieralisi for example copes even with high sediment concentration and coarse-grained particles. The solids discharge is realized by an internal scroll that rotates with an adjustable differential speed. With changing feed qualities a constant high quality of the single liquid phase can be guaranteed by the adjustable skimming unit.


If the processes are continuously developed, to get better end products and a higher efficiency, the decanter as a part of this process has to be adjusted. However up to now the output of the 3-phase-decanter was especially limited on the basis of hydraulic borders. Now the designers from Eibelstadt, Germany have undertaken major modifications at the decanter, masterminded by leading designer Franz-Josef Geis. Besides the adaption of the gear ratio the main focus was on the guidance of the liquid phases. In particular the bowl hub liquid discharge, the adjustable skimming unit and the drain pipe of the skimming unit has been optimized. The target was to increase the flow, in order to bail out the procedural performance of the 3-phase-decanter better. So far the decanter has disposed over a maximum performance of about 9 m3/h (39 GPM).

Performance Proved

As well on-site the modifications have been proven: A customer produces biodiesel on the basis of waste fats and waste based materials like cooking fat. The company uses the CP-A decanter for the 3-phase separation of glycerin, fatty acids and potassium sulfate. With the original design the throughput was limited to 6 m3/h (26 GPM).

Already in the first test run a throughput of 12 m3/h (53 GPM) was reached. A higher throughput was impossible to reach due to limitations on the pump-side. A second test run with a more powerful pump generated a throughput of over 24 m3/h (106 GPM). The on-site test thereby confirmed the calculations of the Pieralisi-designers.

The modified 3-phase-decanter CP-A offers 270 % more output, depending on the application. In particular cases even higher data can be reached with the same machine size. Due to the significant increase of the productivity, downsizing is also possible now. But also in the matter of efficiency and quality the new 3-phase-decanter can score. The adjustable skimming unit allows customizing the machine quickly for changing process conditions. Process losses can be reduced, the liquid separation of two or three phases can precisely be adjusted by means of the skimming unit.

New Applications Possible

“The increase of power now enables us to step into applications for the 3-phase-separation, which until now weren’t possible to reach because of the hydraulic limits”, explains Hartmut König, Senior Sales Manager at Pieralisi. That way the 3-phase-decanter CP-A could be used for the separation of oil-containing wastewater (oil, water, solids), the refurbishment/processing of slaughter by-products or the production of beverages and oils for the food production. Basically the 3-phase-decanter can be used where two liquids should be separated from each other with concurrent solid separation.